EIP Pharma, LLC is a private company that has licensed-in and is developing neflamapimod (previously code-named VX-745), a phase 2 clinical-stage oral investigational drug that inhibits the enzyme p38 MAP Kinase alpha and in doing so blocks the effects of amyloid-beta and inflammation on neuronal and synaptic function.
EIP Pharma licensed neflamapimod in 2012 and has conducted animal studies to position the drug as a treatment for diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer's diseases. Neflamapimod had previously completed a full chronic toxicology program and had demonstrated significant clinical and anti-inflammatory activity in a phase 2a 12-week treatment study in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
EIP Pharma has made a number of discoveries related to neflamapimod that are reflected in three issued US patents on the administration of neflamapimod (VX-745) owned by the company: (1) US #9,427,438, issued August 2016, to treat patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, (2) US #8,697,627, issued April 2014, to lower brain amyloid plaque load (also issue in EU and Japan), and (3) US #9,427,439, issued August 2016, to promote recovery of function in patients who have suffered acute neurologic injury, including that resulting from acute ischemic stroke; and (4) US #9,579,322, issued February 2017, to improve cognition by administering a dose that is sufficient to inhibit cytokine signaling, but not cytokine production. The terms of the above patents run to 2031 and beyond. Additional patents have been filed in the US and internationally.
Company was founded and is led by experienced biotech/pharma R&D executive with extensive translational and drug development experience & expertise in both inflammation and CNS disorders. EIP Pharma achieves its objectives by working with a network of select expert consultants, vendors and contract research organizations with specific expertise in developing neurologic therapeutics. This virtual structure is designed to provide maximal innovative capacity by providing capital efficiency, scientific excellence and the ability to respond rapidly to new findings and data during the development process.
Founder and CEO
John Alam is an industry leader in translational medicine and has a track record of creating value to help build companies through clinical development success.
Until May 2014, he was therapeutic area head for diseases of aging within Sanofi R&D. In that role he led all discovery and development activities at Sanofi directed at Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a number of other age-related diseases (Sarcopenia/Frailty, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Pain, others). Previously, from 1997 until 2008 he held positions of increasingly responsibility at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President Medicines Development. At Vertex, he played major roles in the development of novel innovative medicines for HIV, Hepatitis C and Cystic Fibrosis. And, from 1991 to 1997, at Biogen, Inc, he led the clinical development of Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for multiple sclerosis.
John currently is also a member of the board of directors of Alliance for Aging Research (AAR), a Washington DC based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting innovation to address the healthcare needs of older Americans. Among other activities AAR convenes ACT-AD ("Accelerate Cures/Treatments for Alzheimers Disease"), a public-private partnership focused on accelerating the development of treatments that slow, halt or reverse the progression of Alzheimers disease.
John received a S.B. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.D. from Northwestern University School of Medicine. Subsequently, he completed an internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Sylvie Grégoire is former president of Human Genetic Therapies at Shire Pharmaceuticals, 2007 to 2013. Prior to that, from 2006 to 2007 she was executive chairman of IDM Pharma Inc., and from 2003 to 2004 president and chief executive officer in GlycoFi Inc. From 1995 until 2003 Dr. Grégoire held various leadership positions in Biogen, Inc, most recently as executive vice president of Technical Operations. Prior to Biogen, Dr Grégoire was at Merck and Co, in clinical research and regulatory affairs for a period of 8 years. Dr. Grégoire currently serves as Chair of the Board at Corvidia, Inc; and is a member of the Board of Directors at Novo Nordisk A/S , Galenica AG and Perkin Elmer Corporation.
Dr. Grégoire has a Pharmacy Doctorate degree from the State University of NY at Buffalo, a B.A. in Pharmacy from Laval University, Canada, and a Science College degree from Seminaire de Sherbrooke, Canada.
Parag Shah has over 20 years in experience in the financing of venture-capital backed firms. He is former Senior Managing Director and group head of the Life Sciences Practice at Hercules Capital, a leading debt venture capital firm. Parag founded that practice at Hercules, which over ten years committed ~$2 billion in capital to the life sciences industry. He previously headed East Coast Life Science Practice at Imperial/Comerica Bank.
Parag received an S.M. in Technology, Management, and Policy and S.B. in Molecular Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his tenure at MIT, Parag conducted research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and has served on the Whitehead Institutes Board of Associates in 2003.
Head of Clinical Development
Kelly Blackburn has more than 25 years experience in clinical development operations, most recently as VP, Clinical Affairs at aTyr Pharma and as VP, Clinical Development Operations at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Notably she had the senior global clinical operational responsibility for three major novel therapeutics: Kalydeco® for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, Incivek® for hepatitis C, and Velcade® for multiple myeloma.
Kelly has a B.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Health Administration degree from Quinnipiac University. She is an active board member of the Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center, Cambridge MA; and long-standing long standing volunteer case reviewer and emergency foster care mother for the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts.
Head of Non-Clinical Development
Darryl Patrick is responsible for regulatory affairs and non-clinical development. Darryl has been in pharmaceutical R&D for 30 years. At Merck Research Laboratories he was responsible for numerous preclinical development programs and eventually became Vice President, Worldwide Safety Assessment responsible for preclinical safety evaluation of all development programs and a member of Merck Research Laboratories management committees. From 2004 to 2011 he was at Vertex Pharmaceuticals as Vice President, Exploratory Development, ultimately responsible for Toxicology, Drug Metabolism and Clinical Pharmacology.
For his excellence and success in preclinical R&D Darryl has received numerous awards, including as a member of the team that won the prestigious Prix Galien in 2000 for their work on Singular®. He started his career in veterinary sciences with the US Air Force becoming Chief of Diagnostic and Comparative Medicine for the Uniformed Services, University of Health Sciences. He is trained in veterinary anatomy, laboratory animal pathology and veterinary internal medicine; with a DVM from Michigan State University and a PhD from Iowa State University.